Monday, September 18, 2017

How to Baste a Quilt with a Glue Stick

Quilt basting: everyone's least favorite part of the process.  In the past three years as CiL has grown and the number of quilts I finish vastly increased I've moved from pin basting to spray basting to glue basting.  Glue basting is easy and fast, which are the most important factors for me.  I've gotten a few questions recently so I figured it would be good to do a detailed post :)


I use plain old Elmer's glue sticks to baste.  I like the purple kind because it lets me see my glue lines. These are the extra large sticks, they usually cost a dollar and one will do about 1.5 large quilts.  Despite not changing my needle nearly as frequently as I should (you know we all do it) I have had NO issues with the glue gumming up the needle. If any of it is being transferred to the needle it's not noticeable at all.


Start by spreading out your batting on the floor (or any flat surface, I used to do it across the bed, and you will only do a section at a time). Having something stiff underneath like a large cutting mat does help. Spread out the top and make sure the batting is big enough.


Fold back about 18" -24" of the top edge (where you had it most precisely aligned) and quickly apply lines of glue about every 6". Obviously this wouldn't work with high loft batting, but with something like Warm and Natural, or this Quilter's Dream blend the batting doesn't try to warp or stretch.


Pull the folded up section of top back over the glued area and press firmly with your hands starting from the center.  Then fold up the longer, loose part of the top onto the part you just glued down.


Again, apply glue to a section about 18-24" long, pull the folded top back into place and press smooth.


I find it easiest to smooth and press the newly glued sections from on top of the quilt.  The working time with the glue is similar to with spray baste: not a whole lot, but enough.  Once the newly-glued part is stuck fold back the loose edge again and repeat.


Keep this up until you've got the whole top attached. If you are working on a small surface (like a table or cutting mat) you can fold the finished part and pull the new up as you go.  Once the top is attached I usually trim my batting to within a couple inches of the top.


Flip the top-batting sandwich over and repeat the exact same process, starting with lining up the backing to make sure it's big enough.


Next step: quilting.  The diagram above is a (very) rough depiction of the approach I take to quilting on my domestic machine. Basically I start about 20" from the bottom of a long side, I work across the adjacent short side covering the outer (about) 20" of the quilt, turn the corner and go up the other long side, then down the other short side, then fill in whatever remains.  Often I use the quilt blocks as a guide.  This method keep me from accidentally skipping any areas and minimizes the bulk going through the throat of the machine at any given time.


My mid-arm quilting machine is one of those temperamental divas that only like certain kinds of thread.  Aurifil was recently kind enough to send TWO big cones of thread for Covered in Love. Note, this is not a sponsored post, they sent me thread without asking for anything in return and I just really want to say THANKS!


This kind of glue basting is obviously not for everyone, or for every quilt. You can't do this on a quilt that won't be washable. I don't think it would work for walking foot quilting or for very tight FMQ; the fabric isn't stretched taut enough and wrinkles would be inevitable.  I have seen techniques using thinned out bottled Elmer's glue to paint the entire surface of the batting, and I imagine that might work since every square inch is covered.  For me I find that the amount of shifting/wrinkling I get with this is very similar to what I had with pin basting.  For a loose, free motioned stipple it works perfectly!


For reference, this is my typical stipple density. That is a 12" block, and I have small hands.  After quilting I finish my quilts as usual and then toss them in the wash. I don't have to use extra soap or hot water or anything to get the glue out, it comes out fine. You can tell it's all gone once the rinse water is clear instead of purple. 

I hope this helps take some of the pain out of basting for you! If you have any questions please comment and I will do my best to answer them.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Grandad's Shirts Cozy Quilts

It's another block drive wrap up this week! This time from the March/April "grandad's shirts" blocks.  Soothing, masculine colors with subtle texture and great scrappy fabric variation make these quilts soooo cozy.


First up are two quilts (above and below) quilted by Judy from AZ. She used geometric designs and grid quilting to emphasize the right angles in the blocks.


The next two quilts, below, were assembled and quilted by Kathy from Texas.


Kathy used stipple quilting, which gives the quilts a completely different feel and brings out the scrappiness of the all the different blocks.


Twenty three quilters contributed to make these four quilts. Thanks to all of you who were brave enough to tackle nested seams and pleats for this blocks drive!


These blocks were inspired by the colors and textures on the button down shirts I remember my grandad used to wear.  (Hence I called the block "grandad's shirt").


I hope the families who receive these four quilts will also find comforting memories attached to the fabrics.  For sure, there's love in every stitch!


Covered in Love recently surpassed 220 quilts passed out to dying patients in the hospital and I could never have done it without help from so many of you. Big thanks to Kathy, Judy, and the twenty ladies who sent in blocks.  You all rock!


If you'd like to join in with Covered in Love's mission you can learn more on the main page or check out the block drive.  The current Covered in Love block drive just began and it's a simple Fall-colored patchwork. This drive will run until the end of October if you want to help out.  More info here



Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Oh Scrap!, Crazy Mom Quilts and Finished or Not Friday


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sew Some Love

Welcome to the Sew Some Love linkup!  Please link-up any post about a project you're sewing for charity.


The NURTURE circle (do. Good Stitches) quilters have been busy lately and the quilts have been coming in! I posted two quilts just a couple weeks ago and now have two more.


This cool scrappy star quilt was assembled and quilted by Kat C. and she did a great job. I love the colors she chose! The pattern is the Casual Link block from Twiggy and Opal.  Another version of this quilt might be in my future; I have wanted to make 8-pointed stars for a while.


This pretty pink quilt was assembled and quilted by Dhia, she asked for a variety of heart blocks from us and did a brilliant job assembling them into this large quilt ready to wrap someone in love!  If you've sewn anything for charity recently please link up below.




Some Quilt Charities:
Books and a Blanket - quilts for needy children in central Texas, promoting literacy
Covered in Love - quilts for mourning families
Jack's Basket - celebrating babies born with Down Syndrome
Kennel Quilts - small quilts for animals in need
Margaret's Hope Chest - several programs for children and adults
My Very Own Blanket - quilts for children in foster care
Ovarian Cancer Quilt Project - quilts auctioned to raise money for cancer research
Project Linus - quilts for children in the hospital
Quilts Beyond Borders -  quilts for poor children around the world
Quilts for Kids - quilts for abused and ill children
Quilts of Valor - quilts for veterans
Threading Hope - children and families in poverty and war torn countries
Victoria's Quilts - quilts for cancer patients
Wrap-a-Smile - quilts for children treated for cleft palate on medical missions
Wrap Them in Love - quilts for children

If you know of any that need added to the list let me know!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

A Dozen Color Block Quilts

It's a great big block drive finish this week!  Back in May/June I asked for string color blocks for the Covered in Love block drive.  Cynthia from Quilting is More Fun Than Housework volunteered be a guest-host of the block drive and assembled and quilted the blocks.


For closeups of each quilt and more details on the process you can read Cynthia's posts about the quilts.  If you haven't seen her posts you really should go check them out, she did a great job being creative with block layouts.  In all there were a dozen 50"x70" quilts made from this block drive!


About hosting the block drive Cynthia said:

"Your readers are so supportive and generous. It was so much fun to see the beautiful blocks that filled my mailbox every day. For me, it was especially entertaining to see the fabrics that were used - talk about having Scrap envy!  I was also amazed at how quickly the quilt tops all came together thanks to the lovely workmanship on the blocks. My studio was awash in all those bright colors!"


Cynthia invested a lot of her own time and supplies into assembling these quilts and giving me a break!  Please go visit her blog and tell her "thank you", and if you're shopping at any of the online retailers below consider using Cynthia's affiliate links below (no cost to you, she makes a small commission.)

Fat Quarter Shop
Accuquilt
Connecting Threads
Craftsy

One neat thing Cynthia did which I think I will continue was to color in a map of the US with where blocks were received from.  It's very cool to see where blocks came from, and already folks in some of the un-colored states have been inspired to join a block drive and get their state on the map!


The cool block tutorial from this drive was one of Cynthia's Scrap-a-Plaooza Quilt Tutorials series.  She has LOTS of great blocks for using up scraps and her tutorials are always top-notch. Thanks to Cynthia and to each and every one of you who made an incredible twelve quilts possible!

If you'd like to join in with Covered in Love's mission you can learn more on the main page or check out the block drive.  The current Covered in Love block drive just began and it's a simple Fall-colored patchwork. This drive will run until the end of October if you want to help out.  More info here



Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Oh Scrap!, Crazy Mom Quilts and Finished or Not Friday

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Sew Some Love

Welcome to the Sew Some Love linkup!  Please link-up any post about a project you're sewing for charity.


Happy Hump-Day everybody! Hopefully most of you are enjoying a shortened work week.  I have been working steadily at piecing star blocks into tops.  The stars block drive just wrapped up but the new one for Sept/Oct is going now if you want to participate!


CiL has recently received donations from several companies and I will be thanking each one individually here as the Fall goes on. The fabrics below came from StudioE, Henry Glass, A E Nathan, and Blank Quilting (which I guess all have the same parent company). Just look at all those cuts! In the star top above the sashing and border (not pictured) were cut from these fabrics, plus the backing.


Big thank you to those companies for supporting CiL; if you're in the market for fabric please consider supporting them with a purchase! Also big thank you to Nicki, who asked around cooperate donations.




Some Quilt Charities:
Books and a Blanket - quilts for needy children in central Texas, promoting literacy
Covered in Love - quilts for mourning families
Jack's Basket - celebrating babies born with Down Syndrome
Kennel Quilts - small quilts for animals in need
Margaret's Hope Chest - several programs for children and adults
My Very Own Blanket - quilts for children in foster care
Ovarian Cancer Quilt Project - quilts auctioned to raise money for cancer research
Project Linus - quilts for children in the hospital
Quilts Beyond Borders -  quilts for poor children around the world
Quilts for Kids - quilts for abused and ill children
Quilts of Valor - quilts for veterans
Threading Hope - children and families in poverty and war torn countries
Victoria's Quilts - quilts for cancer patients
Wrap-a-Smile - quilts for children treated for cleft palate on medical missions
Wrap Them in Love - quilts for children

If you know of any that need added to the list let me know!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Quiet Patchwork

Happy Friday everybody! This week's quilt is the mellow older brother of the bright patchwork I posted a few weeks ago.


This pretty patchwork of 4" squares was made by picking a focus fabric and then pulling fabrics that matched it.  It's a Covered in Love quilt and, in fact, is already up at the hospital!


Meloney worked her magic again and quilted lovely leaves all over in a green thread.


The picture below shows a good closeup of the quilting and the center fabric was my "focus fabric" which inspired all the other fabric choices.


If you'd like to join in with Covered in Love's mission you can learn more on the main page or check out the block drive.  The current Covered in Love block drive just began and it's a simple patchwork in Fall colors  This drive will run until the end of October if you want to help out.  More info here



Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Oh Scrap!, Crazy Mom Quilts and Finished or Not Friday

Susannah in the Fall {Block Drive}

Time flies, and some how just like that it's time for another Covered in Love block drive! There was a wonderful response to the July/August star blocks, so I hope you will all like this block as much.  I thought that with it getting toward Fall we would do a simple scrappy block in Fall colors.


This block is called "Scrappy Susannah" and you can find the tutorial HERE on "A Bright Corner".  Our color scheme will be different from hers, but otherwise that tutorial is correct.
 
an example of Fall colors



 Please select scrappy colors in the "Fall" color family. Think dark reds, browns, oranges, and golden yellows.  For the background (white in the tutorial) choose an off white or natural fabric, prints and scrappy are ok.  For an example of a previous block drive that used Fall colors you can see the "leaves" blocks from 2015.

Covered in Love makes quilts to give to patients who are dying in the hospital which their families can keep.  At this time we have delivered over 220 quilts, thanks to so many quilters who have joined in!

I know a lot of you are old hats at these blocks drives, but there have also been several new quilters joining in the past few months! Basically, anyone can participate in these block drives and you can make as few or as many blocks as you like. If you participate this month that doesn't mean you're "signed up" for next month. You can do one block drive and skip the next, however is convenient for you.  Email me at CoveredinLoveTx@gmail.com to get my address or leave a comment here and I will email you, just make sure I can reach you.



Tuesday, August 29, 2017

done. Good Stitches {Sew Some Love}

Welcome to the Sew Some Love linkup!  Please link-up any post about a project you're sewing for charity.


I've talked before on here about my wonderful do. Good Stitches sewing circle.  These are the latest two NURTURE circle quilts to be completed for Covered in Love.


These two quilts were made in block-drive style by the ten members of our circle. Then Carla assembled them and Gabby quilted them. Didn't everyone do an awesome job?


The top quilt is made from the leftovers of "X Marks the Improv" blocks and the bottom one is the "Supersized Castle Block".  They're in the stack for the next delivery to the hospital. What have you been sewing for charity?





Some Quilt Charities:
Books and a Blanket - quilts for needy children in central Texas, promoting literacy
Covered in Love - quilts for mourning families
Kennel Quilts - small quilts for animals in need
Margaret's Hope Chest - several programs for children and adults
My Very Own Blanket - quilts for children in foster care
Ovarian Cancer Quilt Project - quilts auctioned to raise money for cancer research
Project Linus - quilts for children in the hospital
Quilts Beyond Borders -  quilts for poor children around the world
Quilts for Kids - quilts for abused and ill children
Quilts of Valor - quilts for veterans
Threading Hope - children and families in poverty and war torn countries
Victoria's Quilts - quilts for cancer patients
Wrap-a-Smile - quilts for children treated for cleft palate on medical missions
Wrap Them in Love - quilts for children

If you know of any that need added to the list let me know!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

String Quilt Eye Candy

This week's finishes are twin string quilts.  Mina sent in a big ol' stack of string blocks and Kathy was so wonderful, she assembled and quilted them over the summer!


I like how Kathy made two different designs with the string blocks.  As I was taking these photos I found some cute surprises in the fabrics.


Like those fish, above! Someone is going to get a kick out of those fish, I just know it.  I visited with Chaplain Perry the other day and noticed he only had one string quilt left from last year's batch. He admitted these are some of his favorites. 

Halloween mummies, witches, and black cats
As Louise said in her post, scrap quilts really are special because they give people so much to look at and to connect to.

Butterfly kitten wearing a tutu? Why not?!
The gift of a smile at a really dark time is one of the very best things you can give someone, and something I really hope we're able to do with our quilts.

Some surprised-looking owls
If you'd like to join in with Covered in Love's mission you can learn more on the main page or check out the block drive.  The current Covered in Love block drive just began and it's a red, white, and blue star free-for-all.  This drive will run until the end of August if you want to help out.  More info here



Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Finished or Not Friday